Bite-sized learning on everything and anything relating to wood, casks and the maturation of spirits by Dr. Martin Purvis.
How do you prolong the life of high value casks?
Sherry casks are high value capital assets that can cost upwards of 1,000 euros each. They provide incredible flavour and colour. Once they have been used a few times this starts to wane.
Big distillery users of butts have developed their own bodegas to rejuvenate these barrels and prolong their lives.
The key part of this is to effectively remove the inside surface of the stave and take it back to fresh wood. This step is critical and its worth remembering there is no char on these staves – just toast.
The fresh wood then needs to be retoasted and then it can be seasoned in distilleries own bodegas using sherry wine. My own research for my MSc project (20 yrs ago) focussed on good and bad rejuvenated sherry barrels and that indicated that the sherry seasoning process provided key components for success.
These bodega butts can then go on to provide quality maturation for some more fills.
Qualifications: BSc/PHD Geology, MSc Brew/Distilling, MBA Luxury Brand Marketing and Family Business
Background: Martin has worked for nearly 20 years across the spirit drinks industry in a variety of roles from Technical Support, Compliance, Food Safety, HMRC, Blending, Procurement of raw materials, Barrel Procurement, Maturation improvement, grain storage and merchanting, used and new barrel sales, customer relationship management, new business development.